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Monday, May 16, 2011

Life With Melodee - Part 8

People often ask me the same question:

What is it like to live with Melodee?

That's a pretty big and deep subject, and there isn't an easy answer. Like the old saying goes, it's complicated.

But I'm going to try to tell you a little about what Life With Melodee is like in a series of postings here on Melodee's blog.

Part Eight
An Unlikely Mom

I've talked a little in past installments about how I had doubts early on in my relationship with Melodee on her ability to be a mom. No, I'm not talking about being a “mother”, but an actual mom. Mommy if you prefer. Between her past and the lifestyle she leads, and even down to her irreverent attitudes and admitted attention junkie status, there were a number of red flags that made me concerned.

Again, as I have said in other articles, Melodee has proved me wrong. She's a great mom, not only to Amanda and Debbie, but also to our youngest, our son JJ. Maybe it's something innate in all women, some maternal instinct that can lie dormant for decades and then suddenly be awakened to come to the forefront and take over. I don't think that a man can even begin to understand that kind of thing. I know it gives me a headache just trying.

And despite somehow transforming into a mommy, Melodee has lost none of the things that make her attractive. She is still flirtatious and playful. She still pays attention to me, never letting me forget that she loves me and that I'm the center of her universe. She still dresses the same ways. And still has that confidence and strength that struck me so hard all those years ago now.

I've been trying to figure out exactly how it is that she can deal with the kids, particularly Amanda and Debbie, so well, and I think I have figured it out.

Melodee treats them more like small adults than as little kids. Well, most of the time.

Amanda is, to use her words, “almost 11”. In reality, she's 11 going on about 25. Most kids at her age don't like being talked to like a kid, but they have a few more years to go before they figure out why. Not Amanda. She hates it and she knows exactly why she hates it. It makes her feel like we are belittling her. I admit that I have trouble talking to Amanda like a young lady instead of a kid. Not Melodee. She tells Amanda exactly what is what, and there is no mincing of words. Amanda still doesn't like that she has to follow rules, but she understands why it is that the rules are there, and she appreciates having the facts spelled out for her in clear terms.

Debbie, on the other hand, is 8 approaching about 70. In all honesty, I'm the dumb one around the house. I'm pretty sure that JJ is smarter than me. So is Amanda. Melodee can make all three of us look like low-grade morons. Melodee makes no bones about the fact that Debbie is significantly smarter than she is. That's scary. Debbie wants to be a doctor. She already reads medical books. Quickly. She questions the several family doctors about their diagnosis and treatments. Doogie Howser has nothing on Debbie. I have difficulty talking to Amanda like an adult, but I simply can't talk to Debbie at her level. I'm not bright enough. But again, Melodee can. And she does. Debbie responds much better to Melodee that she does to me.

And then there's JJ. He just turned three, and he was able to sign long before he could talk. The girls both are better at sign than I am, but JJ is the only one who can really keep up with his mom. When Melodee was carrying JJ, she was terrified that her deafness was something congenital. There has never been a real determination made about just what caused her deafness, but genetics would certainly be an option. All of the prenatal tests and such were normal, but Melodee was still concerned. Yeah, and so was I. Soon after he was born, it was clear that JJ could hear as well as any normal person, but Melodee still used sign with him. In fact, his first words were when he signed “mama” to Melodee. But even at just three, Melodee treats JJ more like an adult. When she talks to him, she gets down on her knees so they are eye to eye. I do catch her signing in baby talk to him once in a while, though.

I think what it all really comes down to is that there is a subtle difference between being a mother and being a mommy. The bottom line is that any female with a normal biology can be a mother. It takes someone very special to be a mommy, though.

Yeah, Melodee is pretty special.